Studio Storage Solutions

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Studio Storage Solutions

Is your studio a mess? Do you dread setting up photo sessions because you can’t remember where you put anything? An organized studio simplifies workflow, reassures clients, and allows you to focus on your work without distraction. Below are a few easy ways to keep your workspace organized.

Cases, Bags, and Inserts

Hard cases are not only for transporting gear. They are a great way to compartmentalize equipment. Cases designed specifically for lights, modifiers, lighting systems, or light stands can also be useful for de-cluttering.

Speaking of light stands, some are designed in batches that can be collapsed and attached to each other, like Impact’s Link stands. By forgoing the need for a case, users are afforded additional compactness and efficiency while working. 

Impact Link Interlocking Air-Cushioned Light Stand
Impact Link Interlocking Air-Cushioned Light Stand

Cases are nevertheless practical, and many of the inserts designed for use in cases can function just as well on shelves or drawers. You can repurpose any combination of inserts and dividers, or custom cut your own with a foam set. This approach is great for a variety of smaller to mid-sized accessories.

For especially small accessories, it helps to have dedicated cases and spaces, so they don’t get lost. There are all kinds of battery and memory card cases for keeping count of your stock.

Cases are also useful when it comes to cable management. Cables get unruly fast, so color-coded straps and cable bags will not only make your studio more efficient, but safer.  

It never hurts to think outside the box when it comes to cases. Everyday items like sewing or bead kits can be easily repurposed to store especially small mounting accessories and other hardware.

Accessorize Your Space

It’s important to consider the kind of person you are when organizing. If you’re the type to frequently move things around, consider wheeled fixtures to make your workflow more seamless. If your laptop is a vital tool while shooting, a tray attachment will make using it much easier. These little choices really add up when it comes to studio shooting.  

Matthews Digital Imaging Technician Tray Kit
Matthews Digital Imaging Technician Tray Kit

Wall-hanging fixtures like pegboards and wall racks offer a lot by way of space saving storage. They can be studio specific, like this light stand door rack, but you can also repurpose your typical garden shed or garage rack to store taller items. Likewise, a sturdy wine rack or shoe cubby can easily store multiple tripods or stands if space is less of a constraint. 

For your sensitive gear, these storage solutions might not offer the degree of protection you need. In this case, we definitely recommend investing in a dry cabinet. A dry cabinet not only serves as a way to consolidate electronics, but serves the purpose of maintaining environmental conditions and protecting sensitive equipment from dust, hair, and anything else floating around the studio. If you work in a humid environment, dehumidifiers can be added to cases or drawers without needing to purchase an entire cabinet system.

Background Storage

Rolls of background or fabric paper can be a nightmare to store. Foam holders can be used to keep seamless rolls lined up in a row. A quick trip to the hardware store could yield a sturdier device if you are feeling handy—or, if you are in a pinch, cutting the cardboard boxes in which your seamless roll arrives and taping them together with gaffer tape can serve as a quick, albeit not particularly beautiful, DIY solution.

Savage TPC12 Background Paper Roll Storage Rack
Savage TPC12 Background Paper Roll Storage Rack

Modifiers

Collapsed modifiers can be stored in the cases described above. However, certain beauty dishes and other add-ons cannot be collapsed for storage. This is another instance where the hardware store becomes your friend. You can easily keep loose modifiers out of your way by hanging them up using sturdy hooks used in garages and tool sheds. On a related note, softboxes can be an annoying time drain to set up and tear down. If you have the wall space, they can also hang up and out of the way so that all you need to do is attach them to your light source when you need them. Your “swear jar” will thank you.

Prints

If you regularly produce prints of your work, archival storage should be a priority. Archival boxes and interleaving papers are industry standard for this purpose. Make sure that anything that your prints touch is of archival quality to ensure the best long-term survival of your work. Finally, flat files serve as invaluable pieces of studio furniture for organizing and protecting large-scale prints.

Print File Film & Print Box
Print File Film & Print Box

Do you have any studio storage tips? Share them in the Comments section, below!

1 Comment

This article has some great ideas.  In the picture of the studio, however, is a tripod with a camera attached which appears to be storage for the camera.  I would not recommend storing a camera on a tripod.  While setting up my studio for a shoot a couple of years ago I accidentally bumped into my tripod with camera attached knocking it over.  Don't worry, though, the tripod was fine, the camera broke it's fall.  The rear monitor on the camera was shattered.  The camera worked fine for pictures but each picture needed to be viewed on the computer.  Turned the two hour photo shoot into a 6 hour ordeal.